Now that we are in the throws of spring, Mother Nature has enamored us with its beauty everywhere we look. Baby birds sing us songs in the morning. The temperatures outdoors are perfect for sitting outside and enjoying the breeze. Everywhere we turn, flowers are in bloom. What better way to celebrate the beauty of spring than by incorporating edible flowers and plants into your menu? Whether you are planning a nice brunch, or a picnic luncheon, or a fancy dinner (read: literally any kind of meal you prepare is appropriate for edible flowers), incorporating edible flowers into your dishes is a lovely to add a little extra pizzazz to your meal.
If you need some inspiration, here are four of our favorite ways to incorporate edible flower petals into a dish:
- Using sugar flowers to decorate a cake or cupcake.
There is an entire category of cake decorating related to creating realistic looking flowers with icing. How much more beautiful (and easier) to decorate your baked goods with the real thing? Decorating your cake or cupcakes with sweet or candied flowers adds a gorgeous element to an otherwise simplistic dessert, and contributes to the taste and texture of the pastry. Some of the most commonly used edible flowers for baked goods include violets and miniature roses, soaked in a simple syrup to take on a sweet flavor, but there are hundreds of varieties to choose from.
If you incorporate edible flowers into your baked goods, make sure to only use organic flowers. Many flowers from a florist are laden with pesticides or chemicals to prevent them from wilting in the store that could be harmful to eat. Or better, source your edible flowers from a provider who specializes in plants and flowers to be used in cuisine.
- Using edible flowers in salads.
Everyone likes a good colorful salad. What could possibly be fancier than a nice spring salad with bright flowers gently mixed in? There is simply no better way to celebrate the season of bloom.
Our favorite salads to incorporate edible flowers utilize produce that give you that refreshing sensation, such as cucumbers and melon. Mixing a few of your favorite refreshing fruits and vegetables with some colorful edible flowers and a nice spring salad mix creates a beautiful and delicious salad. We like to drizzle our edible flower spring salad with a subtle dressing, such as a classic vinaigrette, to maintain the beauty and the delicate mixture of flavors without overpowering it.
- Incorporating edible flowers into frozen goods.
If you’ve ever lived in a cold environment, you know the awesome sensation experienced when you see a flower emerging from the snow, as if to say, “The dreariness of winter is nearly past, and the beauty of spring is on its way!” Preserving the beauty of edible flowers in ice holds the beautiful symbolism of spring emerging from winter in this way.
Our favorite ways to do this is simply putting an edible flower in an ice cube tray and filling with water. The flower will suspend in the center of the ice cube and make an amazing garnish to your mimosa, or whatever drink you chill.
Another way we like to serve frozen edible flowers is in beautiful popsicles. Simply choose your favorite array of colorful edible flowers, and your favorite juice (ideally one that is transparent, so the suspended flowers can be seen in all their glory). Fill your popsicle mold with flowers and then juice. Freeze and serve.
- Using edible blossoms in fried dishes.
While our previous suggestions use fresh edible flowers, they can also be used to lighten the heaviness of a fried dish. Using edible flowers, such as squash blossoms, in fried dishes is a delicious way to make it taste and feel healthier.
Our favorite way to use edible blossoms in fried dishes is by lightly sauteing the blossoms in oil (add in a green, like spinach or kale if you’d like) and then mix them into the dish you’ll be frying. This make delicious and beautiful fried eggs and fritters.
Do you have any ideas for cooking with edible flowers? Please share your suggestions with use in the comment section below!